Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, and - if you are not JK Rowling - neither do you.


A Slip of the Mask

"Don't touch me," Malfoy hissed, pulling his left arm immediately away from me.

I had searched for him and found him looking out a window in an empty corridor. I was just going to explain to him that one of the Prefects falling ill, thus needed a stand-in for tonight.

This year, Malfoy and I were on...fairly decent terms, so I thought that he'd gone past the Blood Status discrimination stage. Obviously not.

I stepped back, "why?" I snapped, "You're afraid I'll get Mudblood germs all over you? I thought you grew up, Malfoy." I then turned around and started to walk away.

"Granger," at the sound of my name, I automatically turned back around. "I didn't mean it like that," he looked apologetic enough.

"Then why?" He sighed in frustration.

"You don't want to know." I slowly stepped forward once more. He looked so...sad and miserable. I have realized this over the months that we've worked together. I never knew a 17-year-old boy could seem so weary and weak.

"Maybe I do."

"It's not as simple as that!" He growled. He then seemed to remember who I was, and calmed down instantaneously.

"Malfoy, listen. I have been working with you for the past couple of months, and I've realized you have changed. I want you to know that as a fellow Head, you are welcome to come and talk to me anytime. I know how you feel."

He raised an eyebrow, struck up an artificial grin and started to clap. Is it possible to clap sarcastically? Because it seemed like he was doing so.

"What?"

"Nice speech you said there, Granger. Is everything in your life planned out? Are you always the angel? The goody-goody? Wanting to help everyone? Everywhere you go? Never making a mistake?" He taunted.

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me. You're little Miss Perfect. And when you see poor old Draco suffering, you pity him."

"I was trying to help."

"Well, don't." He smirked cruelly, "you'll just get yourself into some trouble, Miss Perfect."

"Stop calling me that," I argued.

"Why? If the shoe fits..."

"I'M NOT PERFECT!" I shouted at him, my voice echoing in the empty hallway. "My life is the opposite of that." Mentally, I skimmed through memories of forgotten friends, broken relationships, reputations I had to uphold, dreams that will never be fulfilled, hateful insults with me as the target. "Don't you even dare think that you know who I am."

"I won't if you won't." He replied calmly.

"I know what you do, Draco." Even though I said it quietly, he flinched. Whether it was because this was the first time I nearly touched the subject of his family's affiliation with the dark side or whether it was because I called him using his first name, I do not know.

"Oh really, Hermione? You know what I do?" He moved quickly at me, and before I could block him, he had me trapped against the wall, with his hands pushing against them, leaving only a tiny space between us. "What am I, Hermione? If you think you know so much. What am I?"

I stared stonily back at him, trying to surreptitiously reach for my wand. I knew he wouldn't try anything on me, but yet I had to be on the safe side.

"Get your hands out of your robe," he snarled, and then repeated his question. "What am I?"

His eyes looked so stormy and cloudy. Grey mist upon it. I could feel his pain, his anger, and his frustration, all which were practically tangible in the air.

"A death-eater," I whispered. The arm I touched previously, the one that caused such a reaction once touched, was now not covered. He purposely let the sleeve fall up his arm. It clearly displayed his Dark Mark. Did he mean to arouse fear from me?

"Are you afraid?" I gazed into his eyes defiantly, showing my Gryffindor characteristics.

"No." With that word, he bent down and pressed his lips against mine. It happened all so suddenly, catching me off gaurd. After a few moments of shock, instead of retaliating I did the opposite. I kissed back.

I don't know how long I've wanted to do this.

I kissed him hungrily, tasting him in, running my fingers through his hair and pulling him closer. His hand had found its way to the small of my back and mouth moaned beside mine. It was like he had waited awhile for it too.

It felt dangerous, illegal, forbidden.

We both drew back at the same time, gasping for air. His eyes did not look angry anymore. They looked dazed, confused, mystified.

"Granger," he choked out. My own eyes flashed at his, then I tried to escape.

"No!" He exclaimed, running to my side. "Her-Hermione, I'm sorry. You got me mad, and I sort of...lost control of myself."

"Why?"

"I-I," and as if he regained his memory, a shadow went across his face, changing his expression noticeably. I recognized it, It was his mask. To conceal himself from his own feelings, Draco Malfoy constantly wore a mask.

"Granger," he said solemnly, using my name as a farewell, an exit. For a second, I believe his face showed some other expression, one of the true Draco. But before I could register it, he turned away and left me there.

I don't know what made him act so impulsively today: slipping off the mask, and kissing me very passionately. I don't know why he did it. But with whatever it takes, I will try to help him take the mask off again.


Author's Note: Pretty please review =) Did you like it?

Oh yes, and if you realize...there's a bit of twilight in here.